Holly Kopman creates an airy Buena Vista Terrace bachelor pad filled with locally sourced art and inventive vintage finds.
Interior designer Holly Kopman incorporated her client’s own stuffed peacock into the dining room decor.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take a massive overhaul to create an impactful design change. Such is the case with a recently completed project in Buena Vista Terrace by Holly Kopman. Kopman, who’s been on the Bay Area design scene for two decades, used her experienced eye and keen attention to detail to transform a tech executive’s multilevel, architecturally significant home into an elegant space filled with interesting pieces by local artists, statement lighting, an eclectic furniture mix and more.
The client’s own table and chairs sit underneath an Italian Venini Murano spiral chandelier from the 1950s. Drapes made from Mark Alexander fabric add a textural touch without an overabundance of visual weight.
“The home was already in very good condition because the client already worked with a designer before,” Kopman explains. “So he had moved in and done some preliminary stuff, like painting. But he really wanted to go through and refresh the design and move forward in a more sophisticated direction.” One guiding light for Kopman was her client’s impressive art collection, one that’s constantly growing and changing. “That was the most important thing,” she says of the design plan. “We wanted design that would complement the art but also be as interesting as the art.” Also important: repainting the entire home in a crisp white paint. “It was already white, but turning yellow due to oil paint on the trim,” Kopman adds. Last on the list was redoing all of the lighting, a complicated process involving cutting lots of drywall—and leaving lots of mess.
A wall sculpture by SF-based artist Jud Bergeron dominates the hallway.
From there, Kopman and her client set out to clearly define different zones of the house, each one serving a different purpose. On the upper level, the front room turned into his study: a place to work, play guitar and just be. With handpainted ombre walls by local artisan Caroline Lizarraga, some vintage furniture pieces, a David Weeks Kopra Burst chandelier and dynamic art by Mars-1 and Kyrre Mogster, the peaceful space is perfect for doing just that.
The dressing room’s Calico wallpaper, custom velvet daybed—as seen on the second season of American Crime Story— and Italian midcentury Sputnik chandelier shine.
What previously was the guest room was transformed into the memorable dressing room. Filled with a gorgeous mix of statement moments, including dramatic wallpaper from Calico and a custom illuminating pink velvet daybed by Steve Chase, circa 1980,that was used as a set piece of American Crime Story, Season 2 (the Versace season). Like many of the pieces used throughout the home, the vanity was previously owned by the client and seamlessly worked into the design. “My whole idea with the dressing room was to not just make it a room you pass by,” says Kopman. “My goal was to make it cool to look at every single time you walk past it.”
Caroline Lizarraga handpainted an intricate ombre on the upper-level study’s walls, while a David Weeks Kopra Burst chandelier and colorful piece by Mars‑1, aka Mario Martinez, add contrast.
An “Emperor Mickey” sculpture by Lizabeth Eva Rossof decorates the living room mantel.
Also on the upper level is the primary bedroom, where Kopman integrated a custom-designed bed frame, Allied Maker sconces, Lawson-Fenning nightstands and artwork by Mars-1, also known as Mario Martinez.
The kitchen looks out onto the client’s lush back garden.
The main floor contains the home’s more public spaces, including the kitchen, the living room, the adjacent dining room and the family room. “Overall we tried to keep things very uncluttered and very clean and pick the right pieces of furniture—not overdo it. Every single piece of furniture we chose had to be the right one,” Kopman shares. The dining room’s major wow moment is the dramatic 1950s Italian Venini Murano spiral chandelier that presides over the table. “It’s not often you’re able to hang a 5-foot light fixture,” she says, pointing out the home’s extremely high ceilings. Also intriguing is the regal stuffed peacock, one of the client’s more interesting items that she successfully worked into the scheme.
The sofa—custom designed by Kopman—is upholstered in fabric from Dedar. The fireplace art is by Kentaro Ikegami.
Horse head sculptures, also in the family room, wear vintage gas masks from WWI.
In the family room, a sofa custom designed by Kopman resides alongside a massive antique hutch, one of the home’s original fireplaces and some truly unique accessories, including horse head sculptures fashioned with vintage gas masks from WWI. “The huge hutch was left by the original owner,” says Kopman, also noting the room’s turntable and bar. “It’s all very cool.”
The primary bedroom houses a custom-designed-by-Kopman bed frame, sconces by Allied Maker, nightstands from Lawson-Fenning and artwork by Mars-1.
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTOPHER STARK